Face-to-face deals are still best

Communications have not

altered the need for business travel, reports John Blauth

A businessman can communicate with the world without leaving his desk, thanks to modern technology. However, this has not diminished the need for face-to-face negotiations and the business travel market, as well as the travel industry in general, has been continuing to grow in the last 20 years.

A MORI survey from February this year, commissioned by Carlson Wagonlit Travel, found that 23 per cent of business travellers intend to make more business trips in the next year, 61 per cent said they would make the same amount and only 15 per cent said fewer.

The survey of 300 people involved with the business travel market also asked if the number of business trips taken would be influenced by new technology and video-conferencing: 5 per cent said very likely; 22 per cent said fairly likely; 27 per cent said not very likely; 44 per cent said not at all likely and 2 per cent had no opinion.

Richard Lovell, Group Managing Director of Carlson Wagonlit Travel commented: "Video-conferencing appears to be having little or no negative effect on volumes of business travel. It could be argued that the human side of business transactions is lost with video-conferencing. But if that technology leads to greater communications internationally, there may even be an increase in business travel as people meet to finalise deals."

Every year Business Traveller magazine carries out a survey of the travelling patterns of its readers. The latest shows 57 per cent of readers take trips to the Far East with 19 per cent of those making more than five trips to the region per year. This contrasts with 22 per cent who travelled to Eastern Europe, 28 per cent to Australasia and 32 per cent to the Middle East. Western Europe was the number one destination, with 87 per cent and the USA the second with 71 per cent of Business Traveller's readers.

On flights of up to five hours business class accounts for 42 per cent of journeys, full economy for 34 per cent and discounted (and therefore inflexible) fares 21 per cent. On flights of between five and 10 hours, 11 per cent sat in first class; 52 per cent in business class and 28 per cent in economy. On long-haul flights of over 10 hours, 19 per cent travelled first class, 51 per cent in business and 22 per cent in steerage.

Once arrived at their destination five star hotels are chosen by 33 per cent while 53 per cent plump for four star, and 12 per cent three star.

"Savings in costs and time are key factors for today's business travellers" says John Dobbs, of Hilton International Hotels. "Firms with offices in the UK and overseas are choosing to host meetings at a convenient hub and we have seen significant growth at the Hilton International hotels at Heathrow and Gatwick in this sector."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: HR and Payroll Manager

£35000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This dynamic outsourced contact...

Recruitment Genius: Production & Quality Control Assistant

£19000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An excellent opportunity for a ...

Ashdown Group: Group HR Advisor - Kettering - £32,000

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group HR Advisor with an established...

Guru Careers: HR Manager / HR Generalist

£40 - 50k (DOE) + Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking a HR Manager / HR Genera...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police